Push hard and Breathe deep

This is a tribute to my mother, the mother of my sons, and all the mothers in the world. What you can do and have done is nothing short of sheer astounding magic and no man can ever produce anything close to what you have achieved. I stand in awe of you. Thank you.

Lola is a 3-year-old Welsh Springer Spaniel that is whelping. This is her first litter. At least 3 viable puppies were seen during her ultrasound scan 4 weeks ago. One liver and white pup was born 1 hour ago. That puppy is just resting beside her. The time is 1 am.

Lola has been in labour for the past two hours. You can see her push and strain as her hormones kicked in to contract her uterus. Her cervix is dilated and her pup desires to be separated from its mother, its creator. Her face is concentrated. Furrows on her forehead appear. Her body stiffens. After a few minutes of pushing, she relaxes. Nothing is apparently happening externally. She drinks a bit of water and licks her new-born puppy. For 15 minutes, she appears to be looking around but not really concentrating. Her breathing is controlled and relaxed. Then she starts again. The intensity increases after her rest and over the next few hours of repeating the cycles of hard pushing and deep relaxation, a total of seven puppies were introduced in the world.

Sometimes when you work towards your goals in life, when you are striving for something wonderful in your career or personal life, you will put in 110% of your effort because you know that without hard work, you will not achieve success. You will stretch your mind, body, and soul to expand your context so success can be achieved. You think that rest is for losers and winners never give up and of course, you are a winner. You may be revising harder than anyone in your studies, clocking more hours at work, or just doing your best to allow your relationship to thrive.

You push and grind relentlessly. You are determined to achieve where others have failed or perhaps just obtained mediocre results. You make sure all the ‘t’s are crossed and ‘i’s are dotted. You feel there is no time to rest. You have heard that what you put in is what you get out so you put in a massive amount of effort for you desire massive results. You do not give up and you do not give in. You tell yourself and others that ‘Rest is for wimps’. You burn out.

Life is balanced. Just like Lola, who had episodes of intense pushing and subjected her body to pressures never experienced before, she coupled that with waves of deep relaxation before she continued. She did not try to push all the puppies out in one sitting nor did she keep pushing and not stop at all. Without those regular intervals of deep rest and breathing, she would not be able to deliver five puppies into the world. Rest is needed for results to happen.

Sometimes, it is too easy to ‘just keep going on’. It is too tempting to think, ‘If I do not keep pushing, I will not achieve what I want to achieve’. You may not realise that the secret to high performance leading to massive results is the ability to deliver consistently high levels of performance. And to be able to do so will require the same amount and intensity of relaxation. It is a cycle that goes around. It is not a path that leads straight.

Usain Bolt’s training schedule consists of more than 50% rest and not training. It is actually in the periods of rest that his muscles grow. Many breakthroughs are discovered when the mind is relaxed. You are not designed to relentlessly work. To expose your genius, you must allow your body, mind, and soul to rest. Robin Sharma has described this perfectly. Only when you couple your High Excellence Cycle where you produce your best work with your Deep Relaxation Cycle, you are able to preserve your Genius.

Life is about striving and exposing your potential to the limit. However, to do so, it does not only consist of hard intense work. Remember that the same degree and intensity of rest are required as well as it will allow your potential to grow even more and produce greater results.

‘Rest well and prosper.’ – Modification of Star Trek saying

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